1A message from the LORD came to Jonah. He was the son of Amittai. The LORD said,2"Go to the great city of Nineveh. Preach against it. The sins of its people have come to my attention."3But Jonah ran away from the Lord. He headed for Tarshish. So he went down to the port of Joppa. There he found a ship that was going to Tarshish. He paid the fare and went on board. Then he sailed for Tarshish. He was running away from the Lord.4But the LORD sent a strong wind over the Mediterranean Sea. A wild storm came up. It was so wild that the ship was in danger of breaking apart.5All of the sailors were afraid. Each one cried out to his own god for help. They threw the ship's contents into the sea. They were trying to make the ship lighter. But Jonah had gone below deck. There he lay down and fell into a deep sleep.6The captain went down to him and said, "How can you sleep? Get up and call out to your god for help! Maybe he'll pay attention to what's happening to us. Then we won't die."7The sailors said to one another, "Come. Let's cast lots to find out who is to blame for getting us into all of this trouble." So they did. And Jonah was picked.8They asked him, "What terrible thing have you done to bring all of this trouble on us? Tell us. What do you do for a living? Where do you come from? What is your country? What people do you belong to?"9He answered, "I'm a Hebrew. I worship the Lord. He is the God of heaven. He made the sea and the land."10They found out he was running away from the Lord. That's because he had told them. Then they became terrified. So they asked him, "How could you do a thing like that?"11The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, "What should we do to you to make the sea calm down?"12"Pick me up and throw me into the sea," he replied. "Then it will become calm. I know it's my fault that this terrible storm has come on you."13Instead of doing what he said, the men did their best to row back to land. But they couldn't. The sea got even rougher than before.14Then they cried out to the Lord. They prayed, "Lord, please don't let us die for taking this man's life. After all, he might not be guilty of doing anything wrong. So don't hold us accountable for killing him. Lord, you always do what you want to."15Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard. And the stormy sea became calm.16When the men saw what had happened, they began to have great respect for the Lord. They offered a sacrifice to him. And they made promises to him.17But the LORD sent a huge fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.
1From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God.2He said, "When I was in trouble, I called out to you. And you answered me. When I had almost drowned, I called out for help. And you listened to my cry.3You threw me into the Mediterranean Sea. I was in the middle of its waters. They were all around me. All of your rolling waves were sweeping over me.4I said, 'I have been driven away from you. But I will look again toward your holy temple in Jerusalem.'5I had almost drowned in the waves. The deep waters were all around me. Seaweed was wrapped around my head.6I sank down to the bottom of the mountains. I thought I had died and gone down into the grave forever. But you brought my life up from the very edge of the pit. You are the LORD my God.7"When my life was nearly over, I remembered you, Lord. My prayer rose up to you. It reached you in your holy temple in heaven.8"Some people worship the worthless statues of their gods. They turn away from the grace you want to give them.9But I will sacrifice a thank offering to you. And I will sing a song of thanks. I will do what I have promised. Lord, you are the one who saves."10The LORD gave the fish a command. And it spit Jonah up onto dry land.
1A message came to Jonah from the LORD a second time. He said,2"Go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce to its people the message I give you."3Jonah obeyed the Lord. He went to Nineveh. It was a very important city. In fact, it took about three days to see all of it.4On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He announced, "In 40 days Nineveh will be destroyed."5The people of Nineveh believed God's warning. They decided not to eat any food for a while. All of them put on black clothes. That's what everyone from the least important of them to the most important did.6The news reached the king of Nineveh. He got up from his throne. He took his royal robes off and dressed himself in black clothes. He sat down in the dust.7Then he sent out a message to the people of Nineveh. He said, "I and my nobles give this order. "Don't let any person or animal taste anything. That includes your herds and flocks. People and animals must not eat or drink anything.8Let people and animals alike be covered with black cloth. All of you must call out to God with all your hearts. Stop doing what is evil. Don't harm others.9Who knows? God might take pity on us. He might turn away from his burning anger. Then we won't die."10God saw what they did. They stopped doing what was evil. So he took pity on them. He didn't destroy them as he had said he would.
1But Jonah was very upset. He became angry.2He prayed to the LORD and said, "Lord, isn't this exactly what I thought would happen when I was still at home? That's why I was so quick to run away to Tarshish. I knew that you are gracious. You are tender and kind. You are slow to get angry. You are full of love. You are a God who takes pity on people. You don't want to destroy them.3Lord, take away my life. I'd rather die than live."4But the LORD replied, "Do you have any right to be angry?"5Jonah left the city. He sat down at a place east of it. There he put some branches over his head. He sat in their shade. He waited to see what would happen to the city.6Then the LORD God sent a vine and made it grow up over Jonah. It gave him more shade for his head. It made him more comfortable. Jonah was very happy he had the vine.7But before sunrise the next day, God sent a worm. It chewed the vine so much that it dried up.8When the sun rose, God sent a burning east wind. The sun beat down on Jonah's head. It made him very weak. He wanted to die. So he said, "I'd rather die than live."9But God said to Jonah, "Do you have any right to be angry about what happened to the vine?" "I do," he said. "In fact, I'm angry enough to die."10But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine. But you did not take care of it. You did not make it grow. It grew up in one night and died the next.11Nineveh has more than 120,000 people. They can't tell right from wrong. Nineveh also has a lot of cattle. So shouldn't I show concern for that great city?"